Snorting Opana (Oxymorphone) | Effects & Dangers

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on February 14, 2023

Snorting Opana can lead to side effects such as a rush of euphoria, sedation, and drowsiness. In addition, snorting Opana can also cause nosebleeds, damage to the nasal passages, and increased risk of opioid overdose and addiction.

Opana, the brand name for oxymorphone hydrochloride, is a prescription opioid painkiller available in immediate-release or extended-release tablets (Opana ER). 

Although available as tablets and meant for use for those suffering from chronic pain, some may participate in opioid abuse by snorting Opana.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states Opana is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has a high potential for drug abuse which can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Effects Of Snorting Opana

A new formulation of Opana offers an abuse-deterrent coating, making it more difficult to snort the drug. However, those seeking to snort Opana can use liquid to wipe the coating from the tablet or a razor blade to remove the coating.

Once removed, the drug can be crushed into a powder. Once ingestion takes place, a person will quickly experience side effects. This is due to the drug entering the bloodstream much more quickly than when taken orally, as prescribed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the abuse-deterrent reformulation was put in place to help prevent the snorting or intravenous injection of the drug.

Common Side Effects

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), common side effects of Opana may include:

  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • euphoric sensations
  • constipation
  • nausea

Those who snort Opana may find these common side effects heightened. 

Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who snort Opana may feel a “rush” or intense sensation once the drug is snorted. Although this “high” happens fast, it can dissipate quickly as well, which may lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Those who abruptly stop Opana may suffer from opioid withdrawal. If this takes place, a person can experience various withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or depression, a decrease in blood pressure, and tremors.

Dangers Of Snorting Opana

Opana works by affecting opioid receptors in the brain. When this occurs, the prescription drug depresses the central nervous system (CNS). This opioid analgesic creates CNS depression which, when abused in the manner of insufflation, can lead to life-threatening effects.

Opana Overdose

There is an increased risk of overdose for those who snort Opana. This is due to how quickly the drug enters your bloodstream.

Those snorting Opana can be taking higher doses via insufflation which may lead to an overdose death. Some of the life-threatening symptoms of opioid overdose may include:

  • weak muscles
  • blue-colored fingernails or lips
  • respiratory depression
  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • coma
  • cold or clammy skin
  • extreme sleepiness

For those who suspect an overdose has occurred, contact 911 immediately and seek urgent medical attention.

Damage To Nasal Passages

Snorting Opana may damage the nasal passages and create issues such as:

  • a chronic runny nose
  • persistent nosebleeds
  • bacterial infections
  • a deviated septum
  • damage to mucous membranes

Additionally, the throat and lungs may experience extra stress when Opana is abused in this way.


This type of substance abuse can lead to diseases or a potential HIV outbreak. This is because some may use syringes or other paraphernalia to share during the insufflation process.

If bodily fluids are exchanged, diseases such as HIV or hepatitis can take place. Although meant to be used for severe pain, opioid abuse is an ongoing public health issue.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one struggle with prescription drug use and live with substance use disorder, our inpatient rehab center can help.

At Ohio Recovery Center, our healthcare services for opioid use disorder include behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare support.

To learn more about our treatment center, please contact our helpline today.

  1. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal — Assessment of a formulation designed to be crush-resistant in prescription opioid abusers
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration — One Pill Can Kill
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration — Oxymorphone
  4. Food and Drug Administration — Opana
  5. NPR — How A Painkiller Designed To Deter Abuse Helped Spark An HIV Outbreak

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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